September 23: Good work, guys

September 23 Good work,

Good work, guys Sir, - Kudos to the police for being on top of a crazy group that wanted, at best, to injure a kiosk owner who refused to sell alcohol to a 17-year-old ("Armed gang stopped by police before attack on Holon kiosk," September 22). It is frightening that such sick and deranged thugs live among us, and I am relieved to know the police are keeping tabs on them. Frankly, given the description, I would hope these people are practically barred from living free. They don't sound like they can ever be trusted. MATTHEW BERMAN Herzliya Meditate against violence Sir, - Your excellent "Time to confront rising youth violence" (Editorial, September 21) prompted me to publicize our anti-violence program for teachers, pupils and parents. We are the MPH group - Meditation for Peace and Harmony, led by Menorah Charney - and our workbook "You and Me" (available in Hebrew too) is specifically for teaching children how to better themselves through meditation. We are teaching teachers to use this material in many schools and looking to spread it to many more. We will gladly post the workbook to all interested parties, without charge. E-mail: or leave messages on (03)6325-445. LEON CHARNEY Yehud Et tu, Brute? Sir, - Re Alan Baker's "There is no need for a big fuss" (September 21) about the predictability and implications of the UN Goldstone Mission report: His telling point that international law has not defined guidelines for the response of democratic countries to international terror's use of civilian shields was discussed at length at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs conference held last spring, entitled: Hamas, the Gaza War and Accountability Under International Law. It remains to be seen whether the one-sided international bodies that still have not dealt with the issue - but are quick to condemn those who are forced to deal with it on a life-or-death basis - are at all interested in doing so. When it comes to Justice Goldstone, one is reminded of Julius Caesar's "Et tu, Brute?" when betrayed by his erstwhile friend. Brutus attempted to excuse himself by claiming to love Rome more than Caesar; might the esteemed justice, also an honorable man, explain: "Not that I loved Israel less, but I loved the idea of being UN secretary-general more?" ROCHEL SYLVETSKY Former Chair, Emunah Israel Jerusalem Sir, - With a friend like this, I am tempted to ask: Who needs an enemy? ISSY HASS Ra'anana Unfair? Yes, indeed Sir, - As distinguished a judge as he is, it was Richard Goldstone's personal philosophy that led him to accept the UN fact-finding job - thinking he could push Israel into accepting his world view of peace in the Middle East. What bothers me most is such people's assumption that they have the right to coerce the sovereign State of Israel to follow their liberal-left philosophy. In reality, what they have accomplished is to undermine Israel's international standing, thereby causing undue damage to the quest for real peace in this dangerous region ("Who's being unfair?" Richard Goldstone, September 22). MARILYN MANDELBAUM Jerusalem Could be embarrassing Sir, - In the Brzezinski scenario: "US should shoot down IAF jets" (September 22), what should our pilots do if confronted by attacking US pilots? Allow themselves to be shot down, or respond in kind? And what then, bearing in mind that in a "Red Flag" exercise against some of the best US Marines pilots a few years ago, the IAF pilots won 220 out of 245 dogfights? DEBBIE FRANKL Savyon European leaders: You can't stay silent Sir, - For the better part of the past decade, Europe has led the international community's efforts to convince Iran to adopt and implement accepted norms of behavior regarding human rights, dealing with terrorism and, particularly since 2003, the nuclear area. Iran's destabilizing role in the Middle East region and beyond - its support for terrorist activities, its provocative statements toward Western democracies, its denial of the Holocaust as well as its growing military capabilities and threatening of its neighbors - all demonstrate that Iran may increasingly threaten Europe and its interests. We cannot stand by idly while this threat grows closer to our doorstep. Iran's post-election brutality against non-violent protests and peaceful demonstrations - as well as its continuous abuse of human rights - has been a matter of particular concern for Europe. Indeed, the EU strongly condemned these actions and held extensive deliberations regarding the proper concrete response. Unfortunately, a consensus could not be reached and thus Europe let down both the Iranian people and all those for whom human rights are a treasured value. With the convening of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council this week, Europe should seize the opportunity to show Iran that we stand behind our cherished values and those who pursue them. Especially at a time when the Iranian government has rejected the outstretched hand of a new US president to discuss the nuclear crisis, we must stand tall. Standing for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, we parliamentarians from across Europe cannot remain silent in the face of Teheran's rejection of universal values and its promotion of violence and instability. Therefore, we call on Europe to immediately strengthen economic sanctions on Iran until it fully complies with international demands to suspend nuclear activities; to actively promote democratic values in Iran by strengthening its democratic forces as well as Iranian civil society; and to refrain from meetings with Iran's president on the margins of the upcoming UN General Assembly, leaving the hall during his address if he in any way denies the Holocaust or any state's right to exist. We urge the Iranian authorities to refrain from using force and violence against peaceful demonstrators; to lift the restrictive measures imposed on freedom of expression; to cease activities that undermine regional stability; and to comply with UN resolutions regarding the cessation of its nuclear activities, fully cooperating also with the International Atomic Energy Agency in its ongoing investigation of Teheran's nuclear program ("Ahmadinejad: Israel was founded on 'a lie,'" September 21). JEAN-LUC BENNAHMIAS, France ADAM BIELAN, Poland LISELOTT BLIXT, Denmark MARTIN CALLANAN, UK LUIGI COMPAGNA, Italy CORINA CRETU, Romania RYSZARD CZARNECKI, Poland BENEDETTO DELLA VEDOVA, Italy GUNNAR HÖKMARK, Sweden MICHAL TOMASZ KAMINSKI Poland SOREN KRARUP, Denmark RYSZARD ANTONI LEGUTKO, Poland CORINNE LEPAGE, France MORTEN LOKKEGAARD, Denmark BEATRICE LORENZIN, Italy MORTEN MESSERSCHMIDT Denmark FIAMMA NIRENSTEIN, Italy BILL NEWTON DUNN, UK JAMES NICHOLSON, UK ANTONYIA PARVANOVA, Bulgaria TOMASZ PIOTR POREBA, Poland FRÉDÉRIQUE RIES, Belgium MARIE-THÉRÈSE SANCHEZ-SCHMID, France STRUAN STEVENSON, UK KONRAD SZYMANSKI, Poland HANNU TAKKULA, Finland CHARLES TANNOCK, UK GIANNI VERNETTI, Italy